M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story

Neeraj Pandey is the director and co-writer of the 2016 Indian Hindi-language biographical sports drama film M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. It is based on the life of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former captain of the Indian national cricket team in Test, ODI, and T20 matches. The late Sushant Singh Rajput plays MS Dhoni in the movie, with Anupam Kher, Kiara Advani, and Disha Patani. Through a number of life experiences, the film covers Dhoni’s life from an early age.

Following the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final, Dhoni’s manager, Arun Pandey, encountered an incident at an airport and came up with the idea for the biography. Two years later, development got under way with Dhoni’s permission. While working on Baby, Neeraj Pandey was later invited to direct the movie. Pandey enlisted a large group of individuals to conduct background and life events study on Dhoni. In the end, Dhoni worked as a consultant on the movie.

Fox Star Studios premiered the movie on September 30, 2016, and it was the most widely seen Bollywood film ever, opening in 61 countries. It was dubbed in Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi in addition to being released in Hindi; however, the Marathi release was eventually canceled due to objections. After its premiere, the movie gained both critical and commercial acclaim. At ₹215.48 crore (US$26 million), it is the sixth-highest grossing Indian movie globally and the fifth-highest grossing Bollywood movie of 2016.


There includes a scene from the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final in the pre-credits sequence. The captain of India, MS Dhoni, comes out to bat following Virat Kohli’s wicket.

On July 7, 1981, in Ranchi, the movie opens. Paan Singh Dhoni, in the hospital maternity unit, is unsure if he is carrying a boy or a girl. Mahendra ‘Mahi’ Singh Dhoni is the name he subsequently gives to his infant son. The person who waters the practice ground is Paan Singh, a pump operator. Mahi gets discovered by a cricket coach while he is goalkeeping in a football match fourteen years later. Impressed, he asks him to try out for the school cricket team, where he gets picked as a wicketkeeper. Mahi becomes a consistent player for the club and increases his batting average.

Three years later, an adult Mahi assists in winning a cricket match between schools. Mahi is chosen for the Ranji Trophy after gaining a lot of notoriety, but despite his friends’ assistance, he is late arriving in Kolkata since his draft notice is delayed. Mahi, however, never gives up and decides to work as a ticket collector at the Kharagpur Station in order to appease his father. Years later, Jayanti, Mahi’s sister, weds Gautam Gupta, a friend of his.

After a while, Mahi feels unhappy at work. Mahi chooses to play cricket in addition to his job at his manager’s persuasion, and he goes to practice after his day shifts. He competes in many competitions, which leads to his selection for the Railways. He tries out for the India national under-19 cricket squad after putting on a strong showing. Yuvraj Singh scores 301 in Punjab’s victory over Bihar, and Mahi fails despite being chosen for the Duleep Trophy.

Mahi quits his job and tells his father that he only has one goal in life: to play professional cricket. He puts in a lot of work, is called up to the national squad, and makes his debut. After meeting and becoming friends with office consultant Priyanka Jha, he scores a century. On her way to purchase him a watch for Valentine’s Day, she gets killed in a truck accident. Mahi suffers from depression once more and performs poorly in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. He takes India to the top spot in Test matches as captain of the national team and wins the T-20 World Cup.

Mahi gets at a hotel in 2010. After failing to recognize him, Sakshi Singh Rawat, a hotel employee, apologizes to him. They soon begin dating, and when she discusses getting him a Valentine’s Day gift, which he declines, Mahi finally asks her to marry him. After getting married, Mahi starts getting ready for the 2011 World Cup. Eventually, he adds additional players to help the club grow. When the movie rewinds to the championship game, Mahi calms everyone down with a big innings. Mahi knocks a six with four runs needed, and India wins the championship. While they watch the game, his friends, family, and coaches cry joyous tears.

The real MS Dhoni strolls along the lines after the credits have rolled.

M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Neeraj Pandey
Written by Neeraj Pandey
Dilip Jha
Produced by Arun Pandey

Fox Star studio

  • Sushant Singh Rajput
  • Disha Patani 
  • Kiara Advani
  • Anupam kher
  • Bhumika Chawla
  • Kanti prakash Jha
  • Alok Pandey
Cinematography Sudheer Palsane
Edited by Shree Narayan Singh
Music by Score: Sanjoy Chowdhury

Amaal MallikRochak Kohli 1 song)
  • Fox Star studio
  • Inspired Entertainment
  • Friday FilmWorks
Distributed by Fox Star Studios
Release date
  • 30 September 2016
Running time
190 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Box office est. ₹216 crore (US$26 million)


  • Mahi Singh Dhoni, also known as MS Dhoni, is played by Sushant Singh Rajput.
  • Z. Nadaf as Mahi when he was young
  • The wife of Mahi, Sakshi Singh Dhoni (née Rawat), is played by Kiara Advani.
  • In the movie, Disha Patani plays Mahi’s ex-girlfriend Priyanka Jha, Anupam Kher plays Mahi’s father Paan Singh Dhoni, Neeta Mohindra plays Mahi’s mother Devaki Devi, Bhumika Chawla plays Mahi’s sister Jayanti, and Swini Khara plays young Jayanti.
  • Rajesh Sharma as Keshav Banerjee, Mahi’s coach Shantilal Mukherjee as Kharagpur Station Master Shishir Sarkar
  • Mithu Chakrabarty as Mrs. Banerjee
  • Deval Sahay played by Kumud Mishra
  • Animesh Kumar is played by Kali Prasad Mukherjee. Mr. “A. K.” Ganguly
  • Kranti Prakash Jha as Santosh Derek Dutta plays Dilip Vengsarkar in  Jagmohan Dalmiya is played by Ravindra Mankani.
  • Herry Tangri as Yuvraj Singh in the final of the 1999–2000 Cooch Behar Trophy Rajendra Chawla as Mahi’s first sponsor Monica Mundu as Mrs. Shukla Sarvadaman D. Banerjee as Chanchal Rhea Sharma as Ritu, Sakshi’s college friend Alok Pandey as Chittu Pal, Mahi’s best friend Sanjay Dadhich as Satya Prakash, Mahi’s friend at railways Sandeep Nahar as Param ‘Chhotu’ Bhaiya, Mahi’s Sikh friend Kiran More as himself (Chief National Selector)
  • Raman Gupta Various other cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga, make appearances in the film via old footage.



Development of a Dhoni biopic began after the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final and the talk about the idea went on over the following years but stayed dormant. Then, after a few years, Dhoni was at an airport when a child approached him and asked him a question on inspiration. Dhoni sat down with the young boy and spent 5 minutes answering the question. His manager, Arun Pandey, asked why he spent that much time and Dhoni answered how his answer was pivotal in benefiting and motivating the boy. This incident then led Pandey to make a film about him saying [to Dhoni] that his story has the power to motivate millions of children like him. After the idea coalesced, Pandey began to convince Dhoni himself in order to turn his life into a full-length feature film. When he was first asked on the idea of the adaptation, he became a little worried and questioned the need for it. But after being convinced by his friends, all he said was, “Don’t misrepresent me. Show me as I am. It took Dhoni two years to finally agree. According to the International Business Times, the film held a production budget of around ₹104 crore (US$12 million)


Pandey was attracted to Dhoni’s story not because of his great cricket career, saying that “it’s foolish to chase MS Dhoni’s life story only because it’s about cricket,” but rather to instances and factors that made him the person he is today. Dhoni wasn’t involved in writing the story. Pandey hired a team of researchers who collated data and background information while the director was busy directing Baby (2015). The filmmakers decided that they would only green-light the film once they had a convincing story to tell after the study. Pandey met with Dhoni numerous times over a span of eight months and by the eighth month of their talks, in 2014, the main arc of the story began to form. Their first meeting took place in Delhi during a cricket match. During their sporadic meetings, Pandey decided not to record and tape their conversations which prompted Dhoni to open up more.

Arun Pandey says 98% of the content in the film is truth. The team did two years of research on the various incidents and how they took place. Pandey says “such authenticity would be hard to find even in Hollywood.” Pandey revealed several prominent aspects of Dhoni’s life that were hidden before including the fact that Dhoni initially disdained cricket and had a predilection for football instead, his signature “helicopter shot” was taught to him by his friend Santosh Lal, he likes women who don’t recognise him, he and Yuvraj Singh had close ties even before their respective stardom and it was Dhoni who ousted Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid from the team since he wanted to build a young team for the 2011 World Cup with better fielders and he wasn’t too happy with the ‘fitness’ levels of the aforementioned cricketers.

Pandey decided to end the film with the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final since he thought “the arc of the story had a natural high at the 2011 World Cup win.” He knew that they were chronicling almost 30 years of a sportsman’s life “in a highly compressed manner” and said that had he extended the script to his sudden retirement during an ongoing series, the run time of the film would shoot up to six hours.


M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story received the widest release for a Bollywood film getting a day-and-date release both in India and abroad in a total of 61 countries across approximately 4,500 screens worldwide on the week ending 2 October 2016.

However, the film was not aired in Pakistan due to problems following the 2016 Uri attack. Sabina Islam, media and marketing manager of the distributor IMGC Global Entertainment in Pakistan told The Express Tribune, “We wouldn’t want to release anything that can aggravate the present situation of the two countries. Dhoni is India’s hero so it’s risky.”The film was also not released in Punjabi and Marathi languages. This was because Fox had wanted to release the film on the same day-and-date but a dubbed version in the two aforementioned languages could not be made at that time.

Even though efforts were made later to dub and release the film in the Marathi language in the state of Maharashtra, this was however not possible. This was because Amey Khopkar, chief of Chitrapat Karmachari Sena, the film affairs wing of regional political party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena told the filmmakers that releasing the film in the language would cause unfair competition for regional movies by giving rise to a scenario where more filmmakers will release Hindi films dubbed in Marathi, prompting Pandey to scrap the plan.

The film was declared tax-free in Uttar Pradesh by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav a day after its release, and in Dhoni’s home state, Jharkhand, a few days later. Maharashtra was also declared tax-free on 5 October by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

promoting the film at an event in September 2016 Dhisha Patani


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